24/10/2013 Midlands Today


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Monday. That is all from the


Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight:


A murder inquiry is launched and two people arrested after a Coventry


toddler dies in hospital. It always upsets me to see what a terrible


world we are living in, and to think it is so close to home.


Also tonight, late arrival. Birmingham's newest shopping


destination at New Street Station is delayed. We'll be live inside the


site. Meanwhile outside, why drivers are


being hit with a ?60 fine for trying to get to the old station entrance.


Why are there signs that say, no access to New Street Station right


here? Cars need to know to do U`turn now.


"We will remember them" ` one veteran's despair at ignorance about


the war among a younger generation. How life in the city inspired the


Birmingham artist dubbed the modern`day Lowry.


And you would never know there is something big brewing for the


weekend after such a deceptively quiet day. Hear all about it in just


a while. Good evening. Police have launched a


murder inquiry after the death of a toddler from Coventry. The


two`year`old boy died in hospital from serious head injuries on


Tuesday. Two people have been arrested, as Giles Latcham reports.


A tribute left by a neighbour for a little boy nobody seems to know. An


ambulance was called to this street in the Stoke area at lunchtime on


Monday to take the two`year`old to University Hospital. He had head


injuries so serious he was quickly transferred to Birmingham Children's


Hospital, where he died 24 hours later. In an area still grieving for


Daniel Pelka, murdered by his mother and stepfather, the death of another


young child has shocked locals. To think... It is just five minutes up


the street. I can't believe... I just feel... I feel for the family


that is left. It is just totally disgusting what goes on with kids


these days. It is heart rendering. As a mother, you would feel... You


know, it is very sad. Police say they arrested a 21`year`old man in


the early hours of Tuesday morning and that was while the boy was still


alive. Following his death on Tuesday lunchtime, they arrested a


25`year`old woman. Both are in custody being questioned on


suspicion of murder. The postmortem examination failed to identify a


cause of death. Further tests are being carried out.


And Giles is in Coventry for us this evening. Have you found anyone who


knew the family? Very few people seem to have had much to do with the


family at all in this area in North Coventry. It is a very mixed area


with a lot of tenancy properties and a lot of arrivals from Eastern


Europe and other parts of the world. I did speak to one resident


who was reluctant to go on camera, but he said that back in July, he


heard shouting from the property and a child crying. He did call the


police, who did attend. It also seems the Fire Service were called


to this address twice this year. The mother apparently had locked herself


out with the child locked inside. Coventry City Council have released


a statement in which they say they are very saddened by the death of


this child but they say they did not know of this child. Social services


staff had no knowledge of him. Forensics officers are inside the


property this evening and the mother and father are being questioned by


police. Coming up later in the programme,


how an award`winning textile firm founded by a wartime refugee is


being brought back to life in Stratford.


It's one of Europe's most complex civil engineering projects, but


Birmingham's latest shopping destination at New Street Station


won't now be open in time for Christmas 2014. Grand Central, which


includes a John Lewis store, will now open in 2015 ` at the same time


as the rest of the re`developed station. We'll be live inside the


site in a few minutes. But first, the construction means hundreds of


motorists affected by changes to the road layout around the train station


are facing fines of ?60 for driving along a restricted bus and taxi


route. They're accusing the City Council of failing to warn them of


changes and leaving them with no safe alternative, as Ben Godfrey


reports. There's one, there's another, and


another. Well, that is the fifth car inside five minutes that has gone


down the bus and taxi lane. Confusion reigns on Smallbrook


Queensway in Birmingham, and here's why. The old entrance to New Street


Station has been coned off for building work. When drivers realise,


they claim it's too late to turn around, and too dangerous, so they


have to head straight along the restricted bus route. This is Shane


Walker's first ever fine. He's appealing the ?60 charge. I was


wanting to drop a college for New Street Station, giving him a lift,


but how do you make a U`turn if you are in the left`hand lane with these


two lanes? How do you turn around to go back? We did find one earlier


opportunity for a U`turn but the size and added sticky tape on signs


is causing confusion. In a statement, the City Council said


signs were introduced in April informing motorists to turn left off


Smallbrook Queensway onto Hill Street to approach the train


station. Let's test this out. So, the advice is to turn left onto your


street and not go straight on. I'm looking now and I can't see any


clear diversion signs. Why aren't there signs that say" no access to


New Street Station" right here? Taxi drivers have also had problems. Is


as buses and taxis ten yards further down. `` the sign says buses and


taxis. Tonight, the City Council wouldn't reveal how many motorists


are being pursued for ?60 fines but said the penalty can be appealed.


80% of the shops and restaurant areas in Birmingham's newest


shopping centre above the city's New Street railway station have been let


and some of them are moving outside London for the first time. Our


business correspondent, Peter Plisner, has been given exclusive


access to the site. Construction work on the New Street


development continuing today, with work on a new car park. And here's a


time`lapse movie of the John Lewis building going up over the last few


months. But despite the rapid progress, the sheer weight of work


that still needs to be done has meant a delay the opening of the new


shopping centre and the John Lewis. Well, we have worked very closely


with our partners in the Grand Central scheme and the funders of


the project have agreed the opening date. It actually offers the best of


what will be a really stunning product and a stunning station and a


shopping centre. Grand Central was due replace the old Pallesades


shopping centre late next year. But shoppers will now have to wait until


the spring of 2015. In a statement, the John Lewis MD Andy Street said:


We understand and support the decision. Shopping is obviously an


important part of the local economy and it is very important for


tourism. Quite a percentage of the money they spend is shopping, so I


think it is worth waiting for. Over here, you can see the construction


of the atrium, which will be the focus of the centre, meaning


daylight flooding into the area. This will be completed in six weeks


time and we then go on to the fabric structure for the roof itself to


make the area watertight. We start the demolition of the concrete


slabs, the Route slabs, in the early part of the New Year, which means


taking away about 9000 cubic metres of concrete. Down below, this is


what used to be the old concourse, once packed with passengers, now an


underground construction site. Remember the old escalators to the


shops? They're now long gone. This is what the same area looked like


today. But the demolision here has taken longer because of aspestos. We


were expecting some elements of asbestos in construction in the 60s


so we did expect some but there is more than we anticipated. Not


surprising, then, that the opening of Grand Central has now been


delayed, but with some big`name stores and restaurants already


signed up, most admit that it should be worth waiting for.


And Peter joins us now from inside the John Lewis building. Peter, what


are the big names that are going to be in the new centre? Well, John


Lewis is the biggest name announced so far. You can see the escalators


are already installed in the store. This will be handed over to John


Lewis to fit out early next year. The White Company is another one.


Another big`name, To half restaurant coming in. `` Giraffe. It is going


to prove a popular destination for many shops. But is there not a


danger it could suck the life out of the city centre, leaving more shops


empty? Yes, we did see a lot of shops closing but since then, some


have moved back out and opened additional stores. But there are


strong rumours that the Pavilion Shopping Centre will be turned into


a massive prime arc. That could revitalise the city centre as well.


So, a lot to happen in Birmingham over the next couple of years. Thank


you. Bosses at Dudley Council say they're


going to have to save ?32 million more than they thought by 2017. They


originally planned for ?26 million but now the total will be nearer 60,


putting more than 300 jobs at risk. Meanwhile, Herefordshire Council has


today launched a public consultation exercise on its plans to save ?15


million by 2015. A man who carried out random knife


attacks at a nightclub has been jailed for 26 years. He stabbed


three men inside the club in separate attacks. He pleaded guilty


to assault and possession of an offensive weapon.


The Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell has welcomed the apology


from three chief constables whose officers have been caught up in the


plebgate scandal. Three officers from Warwickshire, West Mercia and


West Midlands Police were accused of giving a misleading account of their


private meeting with the MP after he was alleged to have called officers


in Downing Street plebs. I'm obviously very grateful to the three


chief constables for the apology which they have given to me and my


family. And, as they have requested, I will be meeting with


them in due course. An award`winning textile firm is


about to come back to life creating new jobs. It was founded by Tibor


Reich, who fled Hungary just before the outbreak of the Second World


War. He set up shop in Stratford`upon`Avon and now his


grandson is about to get the business going again Joanne Writtle


reports. This man ran his iconic textile


design house here at Clifford Mill in Stratford`upon`Avon in the 1950s


and 60s, taking photographs outdoors which inspired his fabric designs.


The loveliness of nature lies where you find it, in every river and


every tree. The Millwood sold in the 1970s and is now used as offices and


apartments, but he famously said nature designs best and liked to use


the outdoors in Warwickshire and the Cotswolds for ideas for his fabric


designs. 35 years after the business closed, his grandson and some are


relaunching it. 1950s was the birth of British modernism. Designs were


so instrumental in bringing about what we now see as contemporary


design. The Hungarian designed fabrics for many businesses,


including Concorde, becoming a leading textile designer. This was


designed and used in the QE2 in the 1950s. And this was presented to


Princess Elizabeth for her wedding present. The new business will run


from here. When it was built, it had a lot of press coverage and


particularly the fireplace, which was based on an onion. Journalists


picked up on the fact that they either love it or hated it. The


Cotswolds was home to the former Gordon Russell furniture factory.


Now an exhibition features the work and that of other leading designers.


Something have all is not `` admired is the infectious enthusiasm for


what they are doing. In the world of design, you really have to believe


in what you are doing. And, boy, did that come through! And back in


Stratford, the family are just as passionate about their new venture,


relaunching their family's iconic designs in the Midlands.


Our top story, a murder inquiry is launched and two people arrested


after a Coventry toddler dies in hospital.


Shefali will have the detailed weather forecast shortly.


Also ahead, international football glamour comes to Shropshire and


Staffordshire. Telford and Burton`upon`Trent to host Under 17s


women's matches next month. And street scenes and childhood


memories ` the Midlands artist dubbed a modern`day Lowry.


If you have a story you think we should be covering on Midlands


Today, we'd like to hear from you. Over the next few weeks, around 40


million poppies will be sold across the country in support of


ex`servicemen and women. And in Rugby this morning, former soldiers


and dignitaries joined with schoolchildren to mark the official


launch of the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull appeal. Our reporter


Sarah Falkland is at the Peace Garden in Birmingham tonight. So,


Sarah, how important is the Poppy Appeal here in the Midlands?


Well, it is crucial. When you think that the British Legion supports


thousands of ex`servicemen and women in the region alone. It is their


biggest fundraiser. This year, what is release special is that there


will be a Birmingham Poppy Day. London have done this for some time.


`` what is really special. In London, they raised ?8,000 in one


day and they hope to replicate that in Birmingham. I was at the launch


of the Coventry, Warwickshrie and Solihull appeal in Rugby this


morning. As the Lord Lieutenant of


Warwickshire said, "whoever ordered the weather ` very well done!" And


if the autumnal sunshine wasn't enough to lift spirits in Rugby's


Caldecott Park, there was the Lawrence Sheriff Grammar School


Choir. Only for 96`year`old Harry Walker,


there wasn't much to smile about in occupied Europe. Eyes shall not


weary them, nor the years condemn, with the going down of the sun and


in the morning, we will remember them. And that brings a lump in your


throat. It really does. As a Battery Sergeant Major with the artillery,


he came to the fighting fields late on. Even now, he won't speak of the


horrors he saw. But he's disturbed by what he sees as an ignorance


about the two big wars among today's youth. They don't know the reason


why thousands of soldiers got killed. And that troubles me. The


target is to raise ?37,000,000... Donations were down last year for


the first time. They put it down to it being their 90th anniversary.


Even so, the total raised here was ?3.9 million in the Midlands. That's


partly down to dedicated fund`raising of the British Legion


riders, many of them ex servicemen. There really should not be a need


for The Royal British Legion. The country should look after the guys


and gals who come back. But, as it is, it is donations, isn't it? And


it is the public to give us those donations. William. `` brilliant.


Harry Walker is still married to his beloved wife, still driving a car,


still walking. He's never asked for support from the legion. He's too


busy helping out. So, poppies available from now right


up until November the 11th, which is, of course, Armistice Day, and


Birmingham's first Poppy Day will be the 5th of November. A date for your


diary. It's one of the most important


tournaments in the development of women's football across Europe. And


this year, it's coming to Staffordshire and Shropshire. The FA


hope the Under 17 Championships will also strengthen the England team of


the future, as Nick Clitheroe reports.


It had everything you would expect a major tournament draw to have but we


weren't at UEFA HQ in Switzerland. Because European football's elite


had moved to Burton town hall for the launch of the women's under 17


Championships. Staging this championship is a great coup for the


Midlands. It is the first time it has ever taken place outside their


headquarters in Switzerland. It is a great chance to show UEFA we are


capable of putting on such a tournament and that will help us


because it will help us in years to come to attract further tournaments.


Burton Albion will host 12 matches. The honour of hosting the opening


game falls to Telford United. We have hosted international games


before but never a tournament, so this is a first for us. The


organisers hope the tournament will get more girls involved in football.


Schools will be given free tickets. It is really good to have the


tournament here because the young girls and boys in the community will


have a great chance to watch some of these young talents and possible


stars of the future. But at this primary School in Burton, enthusiasm


is overwhelming. Irony enjoyed it and I think I've got better after


today. `` I really enjoy it. England want to win the tournament, of


course, but it is also about guaranteeing a bright future for the


women's team. An archaeological dig has started at


a Shropshire beauty spot to try to uncover more about the town's


industrial past. Volunteers are excavating a site where workers


cottages once stood in Telford Park, as Bob Hockenhull reports.


What lies beneath this corner of Telford town park? This team of


archaeologists want to unlock secrets of the town's industrial


past. They are excavating the site where six 19th`century stone


cottages stood until the 1960s. This site itself is very interesting


because the houses were pretty much completely demolished, so there is


no evidence of it on the surface. So we don't know exactly where Stone


Grove is, which is why we have taken the approach of putting in a series


of test pits. But the houses were laid out in the medieval period so


if we find evidence, we are looking at preindustrial Telford, and that


is opening up the story even more for the town clerk. Today, the park


is an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of a busy town, but it was


once a vast industrial area. There were tramlines and factories. This


chimney is what is left of the Ironworks, which was once the second


biggest producer of iron in the country. The residents may have


worked here and it is a great example of the park's industrial


heritage. Volunteers are helping with the lottery funded it, which


will last until Sunday. I think Telford has this common perception


that it started in the 60s, but actually there were communities and


buildings well before that. So I think a lot of people will be


interested to see what is here. People don't realise those trees


might hide something interesting. But what it also means is a lot of


digging and mud and getting cold and wet! One find today, this worked


flint, which could be historical. After 16 years of professional


painting, Birmingham artist Paul Horton is making his debut in a


museum. The contemporary artist has gone back to Birmingham Museum and


Art Gallery to showcase 80 new paintings and he's given our arts


reporter, Satnam Rana, a guided tour of his work.


Each picture tells a story. A story left our imagination. But each


picture is a reflection of Paul Horton's growing up in Birmingham. I


think it made me feel was a person with the values that go along with


the work, and I think it is to show your formative years through your


artwork and the journey that you then go on and it has become release


significant to me and resonates with people from a similar background. It


has taken two years to create 80 original works at this museum and it


is here where Paul fell in love with art. From an early age, I was lucky


enough to have a lot teacher who gave me support and described me,


one eye was 13, as drawing like a Pre`Raphaelite, which simply here to


the gallery for me to study and be inspired by these wonderful


creators. Now his pastoral and charcoal work is a signature


technique but his characters are borne out of a visit to the now


closed puppet Theatre at the Midlands arts Centre in 1986. I felt


it was like a lost world and I wanted to breed `` breathe life into


it. What does he make of being compared to Lowry? Well, as soon as


the limited edition prints went out across the UK, the public said, he


is like a modern day Lowry. He is the most popular of all British


artist and I feel extremely proud that they compare my work to his.


But over the last 16 years, Paul has developed his own distinctive


style. The exhibition is a celebration of this, which runs


until Sunday and is Paul's way of giving something back to his home


city and its people. Really striking.


A glorious autumn day. You warned us of something big brewing. I am


worried! You should be. I don't think we will


see a repeat of today's weather. You can take it from me that today has


really been the calm before the storm. Now, from the pressure


chart, that tells the story quite graphically. It is not short on


drama. We have all of these weather fronts piling in one after the


other, the first of which comes in tonight, and the others, which


coming over the weekend. The weekend is looking like this. We start off


on a dry note on Saturday and quite bright as well, but then it starts


to turn very wet and and everything goes downhill. Sunshine on Sunday


but the wind will strengthen and the windiest period of all is going to


be the early hours of Monday morning in too much of Monday. The Met


Office is warning of potentially damaging winds coupled with heavy


rain, which could lead to localised flooding. Back to this evening, and


we start with lots of dry weather but plenty of cloud. This is all


thickening up from the south`west ahead of that very active system


coming up from that direction. This will arrive during the early hours


and stretch right through, so a wet and windy end the night with gusts


of 40 to 50 miles an hour, with temperatures at 11 or 12. That will


be double last night's values, so a much milder night, even though it is


wet and windy. The rain will scoot along quite quickly so by the end of


the morning things should be clearing, so by the afternoon, and


much drier picture across all parts. There will be plenty of sunshine and


if you are in the shot of the wind, which, again, will be quite strong,


it should feel mild. `` the shelter. A much drier picture tomorrow


afternoon and evening, but over the weekend, turning nasty.


Tonight's headlines from the BBC. The Portuguese police re`open their


investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.


One in four hospitals in England is in danger of providing poor care to


patients, so says the watchdog. A murder inquiry is launched and two


people arrested after a Coventry toddler dies in hospital.


And car fine confusion ` drivers landed with a


That was the Midlands Today. I'll be back at 10pm, when we'll hear an


emotional appeal from the mother of a man shot dead outside a Birmingham


night club. Goodbye.


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